ELIZABETHTOWN — Even in a small town like Elizabethtown, the homeless can be seen at nearly any time of the day in the downtown area. But they are merely the visible signs for an area with a growing number of those in need.
Even more prevalent are the unseen faces of those who struggle every day with too little food, clothing and comforts.
On Sunday, Love of Christ Ministries will join forces with Second Chance Community Church to come to the rescue of those in need in Elizabethtown by offering a hot meal.
“For some time now, I’ve heard different people say there were quite a few folks who needed help with food,” said Jerry Hood, a representative of the Love of Christ Ministries group out of Cumberland County, “so God put it on my heart to do something.”
But Hood needed a local partner to get help get things started, and that’s where Pastor Dwight Holland’s church came in.
Second Chance Community Church spent the previous five years at Harmony Hall Plantation in White Oak, but moved to 205 S. Poplar St. in Elizabethtown about 10 weeks ago.
“For a lot of reasons, we needed a new location,” Holland said. “And despite the fact that the move was done to help our needs, it also will help with the needs of the community.”
Hood is familiar with the food ministry, having offered a regular meal in Fayetteville twice a month for the past five years, once a month in Clinton for the past three years and once a month in Bladenboro for the past four years.
“My goal is to help and feed anyone in need,” Hood said. “They don’t have to be homeless.”
At each of the locations, Hood said there is a church service included for those who attend. He added that the driving force behind his ministry comes from the Bible at 1 John 3:16-18. That scripture says:
“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his love for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” (KJV)
Hood and Holland plan to host a feeding at Second Chance Community Church for those in need every third Sunday of the month starting at about 9 a.m. and lasting until the food runs out that day. The menu often consists of grits, eggs and a meat.
“It’s really whatever God provides us,” Hood said. “We’ve had to pinch some pennies and do some stretching now and then, but God has really blessed us.”
Hood added that he has no idea what to expect in Elizabethtown, but hopes to see anyone who is in need of a meal there on Sunday.
Anyone who would like to help with the feeding ministry, either by volunteering their time or donating supplies and/or money, should call Hood at 910-850-2460.